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FIRST LOOK - NOVEMBER 2017


TOP NEWS

Chaney Enterprises Now Offers Limestone Via Rail

Chaney Enterprises announced it will now offer limestone to its customers transported by a new railway just completed at the company’s plant in Waldorf, Md.

U.S. Concrete to Buy Polaris

U.S. Concrete Inc. announced that it has entered into an arrangement agreement with Vancouver, Canada-based Polaris Materials Corp. pursuant to which U.S. Concrete will acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Polaris for C$3.40 per share in cash by way of a statutory plan of arrangement.

Summit Offer Fizzles; CRH Acquires Ash Grove

Ash Grove Cement Co.’s previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger with CRH plc, under which CRH plc will acquire Ash Grove, has been approved by stockholders.


MSHA WATCH

Support for a re-launched effort to deliver compliance assistance to small mines was expressed by David Zatezalo, the Trump Administration’s nominee to head the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The comments came in a confirmation hearing held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). In the hearing, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) noted the effectiveness of the small mines office in reducing fatalities and asked Zatezalo if he would “make it a priority that technical and educational assistance be available to small operators.”


USGS STATS

U.S. mine and plant production data for 14 selected mineral commodities are provided monthly (or quarterly) by the U.S. Geological Survey to the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FRS), for use in preparing its index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity-utilization rates. These measures cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities, and they are among the key economic indicators monitored by the FRS for guidance in determining national monetary policy. The combined production of construction materials (cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, and gypsum) in the second quarter of 2017 was 46 percent higher compared with that in the first quarter of 2017 due to cyclical seasonal fluctuations but was slightly lower than that in the second quarter of 2016.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The value of new construction starts in September soared 14 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $814.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Highway and bridge construction declined 6 percent.

Construction spending during August 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,218.3 billion, 0.5 percent (±1.3 percent) above the revised July estimate of $1,212.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Highway and street construction declined 1.3 percent for the month and 6.0 percent from a year earlier. 

Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. 


ENERGY

  • WTI crude oil futures price: 10/23/2017: $51.90/barrel, up $0.03 from week earlier; up $1.05 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price: 10/23/2017: $2.991/MMBtu, up $0.045 from week earlier; down $0.002 from year earlier.
  • Retail gasoline price: 10/23/2017: $2.479/gal., down $0.010 from week earlier; up $0.236 from year earlier.
  • Retail gasoline price: 10/23/2017: $2.797/gal., up $0.010 from week earlier; up $0.319 from year earlier.
  • Weekly coal production: 10/14/2017: 14.924 million tons, down 0.213 million tons from week earlier; down 0.627 million tons from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration